Jehovah`s Witness/Reguarding Charles Taze Russel

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Question
Hi Brenton

I would like to know if you could help me find some answers reguarding Charles Taze Russel that's if you have known accurate information about Charles. I would like to make it clear i"m finding my own truth and not associated with any religion but just doing my homework, and would like to get an honest answer to these  following questions  

1. What made Charles believe that the world in 1799 enter the "end of time".
2. Why did Charles got so influential in connecting the Egypt's great pyramid with Christ? and is it true they placed a pyramid next to his tomb because of his prophetic failures
3. Where does this Pleiades idea come from?

Answer
Hello John,

thank you for your questions I have done some research and  I have  prepared replies as separate subjects.  I hope you can follow what I have found.

I can remember reading some years ago that Russell was not comfortable with Bible chronology.  That is why he relied on the works of other people.  He preferred Bible doctrine and that is where his main line of study lay.  


THE GREAT PYRAMID
The simple answer to Russell’s obsession with the pyramid is that he  was convince that the words of Isaiah 10:19,20 were talking about the Great pyramid of Giza  “19  In that day shall there be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the LORD. 20  And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the LORD because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them.” (KJV) and also from Jeremiah 32:20,  “Which hast set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, even unto this day,..” (KJV)

It was not his idea. Again he was convinced by the work of others.  In 1859  John Taylor, an eccentric partner in a London publishing firm, issued his T”he Great Pyramid: Why was it Built? And Who Built it?”   His chief reason for thinking the Pyramid part of God's plan was the fact that he found in its structure all kinds of mathematical truths which far surpassed the knowledge of ancient Egypt.  Later, Piazzi Smith, astronomer royal for Scotland ,  being spired on by Taylor’s work, made his survey of the Great Pyramid during the winter of 1864-65. He,  believed that the Great Pyramid enshrined mathematical, astronomical, and geophysical facts and that it was build by divine guidance. It also contained a prophetic timeline that predicted the Exodus, crucifixion of Christ, the Second Coming of Christ, and the end of the world. His well known work Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid is one of the most popular classic works on the great pyramid.  Smyth wrote articles and presented lectures on his discoveries. Russell was impressed by Smyths research and took it up.

Because he had the idea that the time of the end started in 1799 and was convinced that the end of the gentiles was up in 1914 and the the what Smyth had written seemed to confirm the chronology the had been persuaded to believe by Nelson Barbour that seemed to coincide with the Bible chronology he had been shown he honestly thought the pyramid had vital biblical prophetic meaning.



RUSSELL'S GRAVE
From photos I have seen , Russell’s grave  is on a slight slope about 30 to 40  feet from pyramid.  Photos show graves closer to the pyramid than Russell’s.  From memory the pyramid is in the center of the Watchtower Society owned grave yard.

1799  

1799 is a date I do not remember ever en-counting before. I know that Russell was influenced by the works of others before him.. For example In  1823  Rev John Brown from England did a chronology and explanation of Daniel 4  of a prophetic period of   2520 years.  In 1875, Nelson Barbour calculates that the 2520 years start in 606, this being 70 years before 536 when he thought the Jews rebuilt the altar  He persuade Russell that is chronology is correct and  In 1876, Charles T. Russell publishes the same in his Bible Examiner.

I found a lot of places where 1799 is mentioned in passing  but could not find a concise explanation of why or how he came to that date.  All I did find was that Russell had understood the 1260  symbolic days mentioned in Revelation 11:1-3 was a prophetic period that ended in 1799.  The first mention I could find was from February 1888 Watchtower. It does not reveal much

quote
The day of the celebration in Rome was a wonderful one, which can only be appreciated by those who realize what the Papacy really claims to be. It claims to be nothing less than the glorious millennial kingdom of Christ established in dignity and power to rule over the kingdoms of earth, the fulfillment of our Lord's prayer --"THY KINGDOM COME, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven." The papal hierarchy consisting of the bishops, cardinals, etc., with the pope as their head, claims to be the Kingdom of God in power, the pope being instead of Christ or the "vicar" of Christ, and the bishops, etc., instead of the apostles, in fulfillment of the Lord's promise, "It is the Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom." It must be remembered that the papacy claims [falsely] that the time of suffering with Christ is in the long ago past, and that the time of the Millennial reign and rule began long ago, when Papacy obtained the control of the Roman Empire. Papacy claims that the Protestant movement, the "Reformation," led up to the events of 1799, from which time to 1870 was accomplished the gradual destruction of her political power, and this period since 1799 she considers the "little season" of Rev. 20:3, in which the devil is loosed. Papacy thus ignorantly fulfills the predictions of God's word, by establishing a counterfeit kingdom, and instituting an unauthorized reign over the world under a counterfeit head, (the popes), thus constituting the anti-Christ
end quote

The following is the typical reference I found . This is from November 1 1914 Watchtower

quote
Of course, error all along has more or less combated the Truth, but nevertheless the Truth has been going forward, step by step. The year 1799 marked the beginning  of the "Time of the End," when various events were to occur. According to prophecy--"Knowledge shall be increased"; "the wise shall understand"; and "there shall be a Time of Trouble such as was not since there was a nation." (Daniel 12:1-10.) These various predictions, the fulfilment of which was to follow 1799, have been in process of fulfilment throughout the past century. The running to and fro did not reach any particular development for some time after the Time of the End had begun.
End quote

I also found 3 references to the date in Russell’s 1889 Study in the Scripture volume 2 called “The Time is at Hand” The following quote gives the most details the other 2 just mention the date in passing

quote
Henceforth we deal with the Antichrist, whose gradual development and organization from secretly working ambition are a fitting prelude to the terrible character displayed after the coveted power had been grasped--from 539 A.D. To 1799 A.D., 1260 years. Of this period the first three hundred years mark the rise of this temporal power; the last three mark its waning under the influences of the Reformation and civilization; and the intermediate period of seven centuries embraces Papacy's glory-time and the "dark ages" of the world, full of frauds and deceptions in the name of Christ and true religion.
End quote

PLEIADES
This is the earliest article I found on God being in the vicinity of  Pleiades is from May 15 1895 I thought I would provide the whole article to establish what might have been the rational behind the thought

quote
While the revelations of divine wisdom and grace concerning  the intelligent creation of God command our deepest reverence, no less should his mighty works in the physical creation inspire us with reverence and awe. No doubt the successful pursuit of the knowledge of all God's works and ways will be a part of the delightful employment of men as they progress toward perfection, and come to realize their privilege of eternal life and all the advantages of leisure, facility and opportunity which the future will afford. While such pleasures, we believe, are not the present privilege of the consecrated children of God, whose talents are all engaged for the great harvest work, we note with pleasure the great delight which the learned and able scientists find in probing the wonderful secrets of nature, especially in the domain of Astronomy, and in observing, too, its elevating and ennobling influence upon them. They give to the subject the most painstaking labor, profound thought and careful investigation, and the devotion of their lives.

We are glad that there have been and still are such men: and from the results of their labors we catch a measure of their enthusiasm and inspiration, and would also that they might catch a measure at least of ours, gathered from the "plan of the ages" revealed by the same great Author.  

The history of Astronomy dates back to very ancient times. It reached some degree of dvancement among the Chaldeans and Egyptians, and later among the Greeks and Romans; but Thales, one of the seven wise men of Greece, who lived six hundred years before Christ, was the first great teacher of the science. Pythagoras, another Greek astronomer, taught it shortly after. Hipparchus of Egypt, about three centuries before the Christian Era, and Ptolemy, of the same nation, about one hundred and seventy years later, were also justly celebrated teachers.

Prior to the invention of the telescope and the advancement of mathematical science and other advantages of more modern times, the whole subject was involved in great obscurity; and various theories were propounded and studied to account, if possible, for the motions of the planets and the varied phenomena of the heavens. Judged from very limited knowledge and observation, it was for many centuries believed that our little earth was the chief factor in all God's universe, the center of importance and interest, to  hich the sun, moon and stars ministered as the sole end of their existence. But the labors of Galileo, Copernicus, Keplar and Sir Isaac Newton, in the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries of the Christian era, developed the  telescope, discovered the laws of gravitation and of centripetal and centrifugal forces and suggested an order in nature which science and telescopic observation have proven to the satisfaction of all the learned scientists. These fully comport with our highest conceptions of the infinite power and wisdom of our God, beautifully harmonize with his mighty works of grace in the plan of the ages, and show us that our earth, although comparatively an insignificant portion of God's great empire, has been wonderfully cared for by him.

With humbler ideas of earth and humanity, we gain correspondingly enlarged ideas of God and of his mighty works. These discoveries and scientific deductions are, we believe, in keeping with the general purpose of God, to bring men by various paths to a more correct knowledge of himself through his works and ways. That the men whose names we have mentioned were not superficial enthusiasts, but careful, candid and diligent students of nature, is manifest from the laborious methods by which they have arrived at and sought to prove their conclusions.

In the light of scientific research, the sun is seen to be the center of a great system of worlds revolving around him in definite and invariable orbits and with a precision of time that never varies, some singly and some accompanied  by revolving satellites, and others with peculiar rings whose substance is not yet clearly discerned, but is presumed to be liquid. In this system of worlds our earth is one of the smaller planets.

Our solar system of planets is also found to be revolving together around some other great center; and far beyond the farthest limits of our system, by the aid of the telescope, other suns and systems are discerned, all presumably revolving with ours around some common center,-- the group Pleiades. And the reasonable suggestion has been made that that center may be the heaven of heavens, the highest heaven, the throne of God.

God has established laws so governing the motions of all the heavenly bodies that no clash or discord occurs among them. Each world has its appointed pathway and its regulated time, and the most exact calculations of
end quote

I found another reference in the  1927 Book called Creation  on  comments made in regard to Job 38:31 where in many Bible the star group of Pleiades is mentioned "The face of the deep, of course, would be toward the Pleiades, which are claimed to be the habitation of Jehovah ."  Both quotes indicate to me that the writers were echoing the thoughts of others.

I hope that has been of some help

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I AM one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I am always learning. I am NOT an expert in the full sense of the word but I can answer questions on the reliability of the NWT - the so called mind control problems-so called prophecies - how being a JW affects the individual and relatives and general practices and history of Jehovah’s Witnesses. >>WARNING<< Please be aware that there are people here who ARE NOT practicing JWs. By all means ask these ones questions. Depending on the question you will get an honest answer, but, generally the answer you get, will mislead you as to what we believe, often because, they do not give ALL the relevant details. These ones will, have an agenda against JWs., and will at times give answers that are not correct in regard to JW teachings and practices. If you are after a answer from one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, please read some of the answers that the various experts have published before choosing someone. If you want to ask one of the NON JWs a question, that is fine, BUT if you want a balancing view after asking one of the NON JWs, ask a JW the same question. PLEASE ALSO NOTE: There(have been)and are, some "experts" here who are NOT always the most courteous and polite, at times are actually quite rude, that applies to both JW's and non JW's and their answers may offend, especially when they get personal and attack the character of the person and not the message. Unfortunately some here that have done that. So it IS IMPORTANT to chose an "expert" that YOU feel will best suit YOU by reading some of their past answers . . . . .

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